Mercedes EQB first drive: $55K small 3rd row SUV doesn’t have to go fast or far to impress

by Seth Weintraub

And it might seem a lot familiar if you’ve experienced the Mercedes GLB ICE vehicle, yet far improved because of the electric powertrain.

The EQB is a bit of an outlier when it comes to premium vehicles in terms of powertrain specs, and unfortunately, I don’t mean that in a good way. Let’s get the ugly out first:

Mercedes EQB specs • Battery: 70.5kWh usable up from 66kWh EU (not bad) • Drag coefficient: 0.28 (low, which is good!) • Power: asynchronous front, permanently excited rear motors (eh) EQB 300 4matic: 225 hp (168 kW) 288 lb-ft (390 Nm) EQB 350 4matic: 288 hp (215 kW) 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) • Top speed: 99.4 mph or 160km/h (uh oh)

Mercedes EQB specs (cont'd) • Price: $54,500 EQB 300, $58,050 EQB 350. $7500 Fed tax cred available(!) • Range: 230-240 miles est. (gak) • Dimensions: 184.4″ length, 72.2″ width, and 65.6″ height • Frunk: Nein! • Charging speed CCS Combo: 100kW (oof)

Remember, this is a Mercedes we’re talking about here, so expectations are relatively high. I should note that Mercedes estimates EPA of 230-ish miles, while on much more optimistic WLTP scale, the slightly smaller European pack gets 419 km or 260 miles. Still that’s a step down from other players in this field.

Add to that a relatively slow 100kW charging, Mercedes says you can go from 10-80% charge in 31 minutes on a 100kW or faster charger. That’s about 165 miles and what you’ll need to aim for between stops to optimize travel.

For me personally, that lower range and charging speed spec makes this a less than optimal long trip vehicle. That isn’t really something that pairs well with a small SUV family car. That said, a “particularly long-range version” is also planned and a year of Mercedes “me Charge” is also included.